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GUIDE for *Legacy Decks* - Staples and Important Cards


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Yeesterbunny
Posted (edited)

 

If you are building a Legacy deck check the posts further down this thread for very detailed info on cards that are either must haves (staples) or important for certain deck types.

 

Below is my original post asking about staples


Spoiler

 

I have not played legacy and I was unable to find a list of staple cards on the forums. I found this list on the web and wondered if it is accurate.

 

These ones I don't doubt:

Supporters

Professor Juniper

N

Skyla

 

Trainers

Junk Arm

Ultra Ball/Level Ball/Dual Ball

 

ACE SPEC

Computer Search

Dowsing Machine
Life Dew

Scramble Switch is probably the only other Ace Spec you'd expect to see.

 

What about the ones below this line? Would legacy players agree on them as staples?


 

bicycle
    silver mirror
    silver bangle
    pokemon communication
    catcher or pokemon reversal

Smeargle (Portrait)
Exeggcute (Propagation)
Jirachi-EX
Keldeo-EX

Hypnotoxic Laser
Virbank City Gym
Lost Remover
Professor Oak's New Theory
Colress
Pokemon Collector
Tool Scrapper
Float Stone
Skyarrow Bridge
Random Receiver
Twins
Energy Search
    Team Plasma ball
    Colress Machine
    Frozen City Gym
And the special energies
    Team Plasma energy
    Blend energy
    Prism energy
 

Other useful Pokemon are the ones with DCE utility like
    Mewtwo Ex
    Outrage Reshiram / Zekrom
    cleffa
    mr. mime (bench barier)

 


   
   

 

Edited by Yeesterbunny
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Soup1900
Posted (edited)

Here are the basic staple cards for Legacy(also you mentioned certain decks so I'll also help you in this response.

 

Professor Oak's New Theory is basically the Cynthia if the Legacy format since it's the same effect by shuffling your hand to your deck and drawing 6 cards making it extremely useful

Professor Juniper is the Professor's Research of both the Legacy and Expanded format since it discards your hand and draws 7 cards.

N is a hand disruption card since it shuffles BOTH players hands to their decks and draws cards EQUAL to their remaining prizes making it more useful in the late game but not early game.

Judge is another hand disruption card but unlike hand it makes both players draw 4 cards after shuffling their hands into their decks making sure they have less cards. Best for the early game and not late game unless it's Durant Mill.

Skyla allows you to search for any trainer card but only 1 making it very useful when looking for a very specific card.

Colress is a card that shuffles your hand into your deck and draw cards equal to the TOTAL amount of pokemon in play meaning both yours and your opponents. Include 1 copy since your really only going to use it once or twice when there's a lot of benched pokemon.

Twins is a card that if you have more prizes left than your opponent you can search for ANY 2 cards. This is best for Durant Mill since this deck doesn't take prizes.

Ghetsis is a banned card FOR EXPANDED but LEGAL in Legacy. Which forces your opponent to put ALL their item cards from their HAND back into their deck. THis not only clears all their item cards from their hand which is mostly what your deck is, it has an added bonus of drawing cards for how many they put into their hand making it not just a hand lock, it forces your opponent to show the item cards to you which can help you know they don't have game.

Junk Arm is an item card which allows you to grab ANY trainer card for the discard besides itself and put it in your hand. IT does make you discard 2 cards in the 1st place but it's worth it.

Level Ball is an item card which allows you to search for any pokemon with 90 HP or less at any evolution. This is best for decks like Fluffychomp, Durant Mill, and Flareon Revenge.

Dual Ball is an item card which if you get heads it searches for ANY basic pokemon from your deck. The reason it's called Dual Ball? That's because it flips 2 coins and each heads searches for a basic pokemon. While this does require a coin flip this is the best pokemon search card out of anything since it can also search any pokemon EX card. You'll roughly get 1 of the 2 so it's still worth it.

Ultra Ball is an item card that makes you discard 2 cards from your hand to look for ANY pokemon. This is the worst at of all of the best ball search cards since it makes you discard but if you have bad coin flip luck you can use ultra ball.

Computer Search is an ACE SPEC item card that if you discard 2 cards from your hand it'll let you search for ANY card in your deck. This is the best ACE SPEC generally but not for some decks in Legacy.

Dowsing Machine is an ACE SPEC item card that if you discard 2 cards from your hand it'll let you search for ANY trainer card in your discard pile. This is actually useless in Legacy since Legacy is the only format with Junk Arm in it and they have the EXACT same affect. This makes Dowsing Machine a no-no in Legacy but in expanded it's 2nd best. Good this isn't expanded.

Life Dew is an ACE SPEC tool card that if the pokemon the card it attached to gets knocked out your opponent takes 1 LESS prize card. This is the 2nd best ACE SPEC in Legacy. This is the best ACE SPEC for Durant Mill.

Scramble Switch is an ACE SPEC item card that switches your pokemon while moving the energy from the pokemon you switched out with the new 1. This is the 3rd best ACE SPEC in Legacy. This is the best for Mewtwo EX and Keldeo EX decks.

Mr. Mime is a pokemon which protects your bench from damage has 1 copy in EVERY deck I've ever seen.

Lost Remover is an item card which puts a special energy from any of your opponent's pokemon into the lost zone which then will be unretrievable. You pretty much need 1 of these in any deck since EVERY Legacy deck uses at least 1 special energy.

Random Receiver is an item card which keeps looking through your deck until you find a supporter and puts it in your hand. This is extremely useful when looking for a supporter and is better than Pokegear 3.0 in Legacy.

Pokemon Communication is an item card that puts a pokemon from your hand into your deck and finds you a new 1 to put into your hand. This is really useful for stage 2 decks that also use ultra ball to find high HP pokemon like stage 2 and pokemon EX.

Tool Scrapper is an item card that allows you to discard up to 2 tool cards attached to any pokemon in play, meaning either your opponent OR yourself. This can get rid of those pesky tool card like Life Dew to make sure you get all your prizes, Float stone so they can't retreat, Silver Bangle so they do less damage to your EX pokemon, an Silver Mirror so your Team Plasma pokemon can actually damage your opponent.

Silver Bangle is a tool card that when attached to your pokemon they do 30 more damage to your opponents active EX pokemon allowing you to take more OHKOs against your opponent. This is needed in EVERY deck.

Silver Mirror is a tool card that when attached to your pokemon they take NO damage from your opponents Team Plasma pokemon. There's at least 1 in EVERY deck since Team Plasma decks are a top tier deck and this disrupts your opponent from taking prizes.

Tropical Beach is a stadium card that ends your turn if you play it BUT also allows you to draw cards until you have 7 in your hand. This is extremely expensive and not to be rude will probably be something you'll never have but it's a staple in a lot of decks if they have it.

Skyarrow Bridge is a stadium card that makes your basic pokemon have 1 less retreat cost. This is best for non-evolution decks since they can utilize it the most.

Jirachi EX is a pokemon that when placed onto the bench will allow you to look for ANY supporter in your deck and put it in your hand. This gets even better since it CAN be searched by level ball so you can put it with decks like fluffychomp, flareon revenge, or durant mill.

Float Stone is a tool card that when placed on a pokemon it gives then no retreat cost. This is a staple since this doesn't go in the discard after use like switch. IT also lessens the use of switch too.

 

For a Mewtwo EX deck, I recommend Gardevoir with the ability Psychic Mirage which makes every basic psychic energy 2 psychic energy doubling your damage output instantly.

 

Team Plasma deck:

Plasma Energy is a special energy that provides colorless which sounds useless but some Team Plasma pokemon like Lugia EX can't do damage without it, other team plasma pokemon have special affects with it, and it can be easily searched out by Colress Machine.

Colress Machine is an item card that when played searches your deck for a Plasma Energy AND attaches it to your pokemon. This can accelerate energy allowing you to use a high energy attack turn 1.

Deoxys EX is a pokemon that when in play has an ability that increase your Team Plasma pokemons attacks by 10. This is stackable too so you can have 4 at once. This is a staple since it can help1 shot higher HP pokemon that you can't already 1-shot.

Team Plasma Ball is an item card that when played allows you to search for ANY Team Plasma pokemon. This is the best search card for pokemon for this deck since it's a guaranteed, doesn't discard, and doesn't have an HP limit.

Blend Energy is a special energy that provides lightning, water, steel, and fighting energy but only 1 at a time. This is used for your Thunderous EX and Kyurem. They are very good attackers which is why they are in Team Plasma decks.

 

Aside from this Hynotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym are included for poison fusion decks.

Hynotoxic Laser is an item card that poisons your opponent and if flips heads puts them to sleep.

Virbank City Gym is a stadium card that increases your poison damage by 2(making it 3 damages counter in total).

 

Here is all the staples for legacy decks.

Edited by Soup1900
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Yeesterbunny

Wow, that's a very detailed response. Thanks!

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Felidae_
Posted (edited)

Very nice list and I love the stylistic choice to refer to the old cards as "they are basically like [insert new card]".

You know The Beatles are pretty much the One Direction of their time.

 

Jokes aside, except for some niche picks and archetype specific cards that list is rock solid.

 

If you want to read more about specific decks in the format, you might want to check out this little piece that I wrote ~5 years ago. It doesn't include the best deck in the format (Empoleon /Flygon/ Dusknoir), as the deck was still a sleeper pick back then.

 

*********************************************************

 

Edit: Ah, I forgot about that: just search 60cards legacy on google :D should be the first thing you find

Edited by Felidae_
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Otakutron
On 5/6/2021 at 11:22 AM, Yeesterbunny said:

I have not played legacy and I was unable to find a list of staple cards on the forums. I found this list on the web and wondered if it is accurate.

 

These ones I don't doubt:

Supporters

Professor Juniper

N

Skyla

 

Trainers

Junk Arm

Ultra Ball/Level Ball/Dual Ball

 

ACE SPEC

Computer Search

Dowsing Machine
Life Dew

Scramble Switch is probably the only other Ace Spec you'd expect to see.

 

What about the ones below this line? Would legacy players agree on them as staples?


 

bicycle
    silver mirror
    silver bangle
    pokemon communication
    catcher or pokemon reversal

Smeargle (Portrait)
Exeggcute (Propagation)
Jirachi-EX
Keldeo-EX

Hypnotoxic Laser
Virbank City Gym
Lost Remover
Professor Oak's New Theory
Colress
Pokemon Collector
Tool Scrapper
Float Stone
Skyarrow Bridge
Random Receiver
Twins
Energy Search
    Team Plasma ball
    Colress Machine
    Frozen City Gym
And the special energies
    Team Plasma energy
    Blend energy
    Prism energy
 

Other useful Pokemon are the ones with DCE utility like
    Mewtwo Ex
    Outrage Reshiram / Zekrom
    cleffa
    mr. mime (bench barier)
   
   

 

 

Disclaimer: I am out of date for Legacy, having been unable to really play it in a few years.  I'll still risk weighing in, as you may as may help explain some cards you don't understand.  They either were useful a few years ago in Legacy, or possibly were useful in the Standard Formats that contained some of the sets from the Legacy Format.

 

If the list you found was supposed to be "true staples", as in cards every deck runs unless another option precludes running them, then the list is incorrect.  If we are using "staples" in a looser sense, just naming commonly used cards that may be vital to a single archetype, or just appear in many (but not all or even most) decks, then the list you found is pretty good.  I'll mention if I think anything that was included ought to have been left out in that entry.  If I have time later, I'll mention a few cards I think were left out.

 

Card interactions matter.  Some things work because of specific combos, or else, are elevated to this status because of them.  I'll go through the list, but in alphabetical order:

 

  • Bicycle: A solid card.  Best in more aggressive decks that can easily play out their hands, it also combines well with Junk Arm and Skyla.

  • Blend Energy: This is actually two different cards, Blend Energy [W][L][F][M] and Blend Energy [G][R][P][D].  Note very deck needs Blend Energy, but it is vital to certain lists, and useful to others.  It even shaped certain decks; types that are shared on a particular Blend Energy are easier to use together.  It isn't unheard of to see it run alongside the other Special Energy cards that provide multiple types (Prism Energy, Rainbow Energy).

  • Cleffa (HeartGold & SoulSilver 17/123; HS - Black Star Promos HGSS12; Call of Legends 24/95): Cleffa can stall your opponent while providing good shuffle and draw at the cost of attacking it with but not at the cost of any Energy, since the attack is "free".  It also retreats for free.  I think it probably didn't need to be on the list of staples/common support cards.  There are some specific decks where it is your best bet, and that is probably the real reason it is here.

  • Colress: Shuffle-and-draw for one card per Benched Pokémon in play means it draws from zero to 10 cards.  As long as your own deck needs a full or mostly full Bench, odds are good you won't be getting a "bad" draw amount from Colress.  You'll still have the potential of a massive, ridiculous draw, though.  Not a one-of in every deck, but a one or two of in a decent amount.

  • Colress Machine: While not restricted to a single deck, Colress Machine is found in several strong Team Plasma decks.  Which makes sense as its only purpose is to attach Plasma Energy from your deck to one of your Team Plasma Pokémon.  Not every Team Plasma deck needs it, but enough do.

  • Computer Search: The overall best Ace Spec, though there's a decent amount of decks where a different Ace Spec is better. Even with the discard cost, even being your Ace Spec, Item-based search that can fetch any one card from your deck is that potent.  If you have what you think is a perfect 60 card list, but it has no Ace Spec, just replace one of your copies of Ultra Ball with Computer Search and your list becomes better.

  • Dowsing Machine: The overall second best Ace Spec.  Trainers are potent, and this lets you reuse any one Trainer in your deck.  Yes, with a two card discard cost and with this as your one Ace Spec, this is still quite potent.  If you have what you think is a perfect 60 card list, but it has no Ace Spec, just replace one of your copies of Junk Hunt with Computer Search and your list becomes better.  Though you'll probably want to drop something else; Junk Hunt is just that good. XD

  • Dual Ball: Basic focus decks don't need to worry about searching out Evolutions; Evolution-focused decks still need to grab their Basics.  No discard cost or targeting restrictions (beyond Basic-only) are great; coin flips are not, but with two the odds are still in your favor of getting at least one.  I mean, since this is just an Item, after all.

  • Energy Search: Energy Search is easy to dismiss, but its versatility is key.  While use basic Energy cards when Special Energy cards like the Blend Energies, Prism Energy, and Rainbow Energy exist?  Special Energy cards have less support and more counters.  Some effects specifically require basic Energy, while I'm not sure any expressly require Special Energy (save for named instances like Plasma Energy).  Unlike running an additional basic Energy card (even in mono-type decks), Energy Search gives you the option of burning it to thin your hand when you don't actually need a basic Energy card.  If you run multiple basic Energy types, it lets you get the one you need instead of settling for the one you drew.  Still not for every deck, or even most decks, but where it works, it works.

  • Exeggcute (BW - Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW - Plasma Blast 102/101): There are many fantastic cards with discard costs in most decks, so Exeggcute is a probable inclusion for most decks.  Some cannot take the risk of opening with it, while others have even greater need for it due to even heavier discard requirements.  It is so good that I almost have its Card ID memorized; I only messed up by thinking it was 3/116 instead of 4/116!

  • Float Stone: A free Retreat Cost is handy in general, and whether the printed cost is [C] or [CCCC], Float Stone grants it.  What is more, it also overrides effects that increase Retreat costs, as it constantly sets the equipped Pokémon's Retreat Cost to zero.  This makes it handy in general, but add in combos like the one with Keldeo-EX and you have one of if not the best Tool in the Legacy Format.

  • Frozen City Gym: This Stadium is all about number manipulation.  There's no drawbacks to running it in a Team Plasma deck, unless you need a different Stadium in play.  Use it when Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym take up too much room or aren't options for other reasons.  Or when you need to damage your own Pokémon.  Or as a hard counter to a deluge deck.

  • Hypnotoxic Laser: In many cases, this is a better PlusPower, because it works regardless of how much damage your attacker is doing.  You can Poison your opponent's Active, placing a damage counter on it, even if you aren't attacking at all that turn!  As a bonus, you have a 50% chance of inflicting Sleep on your opponent's Active at the same time.  As your opponent flips to see if they wake up during Pokémon Check Up, the Sleep may still not matter, but this makes Hypnotoxic Laser a good card in many decks for both offense and defense.  The combo with Virbank City Gym means triple the damage counter placement, while some decks have even more specific combos.

  • Jirachi-EX: While this card is an easy two-Prizes, it also has a fantastic Ability that lets you fetch any one Supporter you want from your deck when you Bench it.  It also is small enough that Level Ball can grab it, though that won't matter for all decks.  What does is it means Ultra Ball is an out to any Supporter, greatly improving the reliability of your deck.  Versatility as well, if you include Supporters for more than just draw/search.

  • Junk Arm: Imagine Dowsing Machine, but it trades being only able to target Item cards for not being an Ace Spec.  If that doesn't sound amazing, you're going to learn the hard way as you play.  It is rare for a list to run less than three Junk Arm, with most preferring four... at least, when I played.  Many had to settle for less, though, due to the difficulty in pulling or trading for Junk Arm.  There are many powerful Item cards in Legacy, and this lets you reuse any already in your discard pile.  Plus, what was TecH can be used up to five times...

  • Keldeo-EX: Keldeo-EX with Float Stone is a very common sight in decks.  This basically lets you trade your manual Retreat Cost for a free "Switch" each turn, since Keldeo-EX itself still has to manually retreat for whatever you ultimately want as your Active.  Even before Float Stone, Keldeo-EX was a staple in the decks that could afford to pay its discard costs.  It is also a solid attacker in decks that can pile on the [W] Energy, or which just need it to exploit [W] Weakness (even without any source of [W] Energy).

  • Level Ball: While it may only target Pokémon with 90 or less HP, this is still quite effective at fetching evolving Basics and miscellaneous useful support Pokémon (examples of the latter found throughout this list).  There are even a few key Evolutions that are Level Ball-legal targets.  Level Ball is often a supplement to Ultra Ball for these reasons, and I recall a select few decks using Level Ball without Ultra Ball.

  • Life Dew: This is a deck-specific option, though it is still good in general.  Without any fancy combos, having one of your Pokémon give up one fewer Prizes when KO'd is still handy, but nowhere near as good as Computer Search or Dowsing Machine.  There are decks that are good at recycling it (often at searching it out as well), and unless you block Items or can discard Tools, you'll be taking one fewer Prizes (usually resulting in taking zero Prizes) from your KOs most turns.

  • Lost Remover: Special Energy cards aren't in every deck, but several rely on them.  Lost Remover doesn't just discard that Special Energy, it sends it to the Lost Zone where no effects can reclaim it.  It isn't good enough to be an all-the-time staple, but it is great in certain match ups, so if it doesn't make your 60-card list, it should have at least been considered.

  • Mewtwo-EX (BW - Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW - Black Star Promos BW54; BW - Legendary Treasures 54/113): I probably didn't need to specify which Mewtwo-EX, as this is the only version Legal for Legacy, but this was the Pokémon-EX when it first released, and it took a long time for power creep to render it unimpressive.  The X Baller brawler isn't actually that great if it lacks compatible Energy acceleration, or the opportunity to manually build on your Bench, but in most decks it has the acceleration.  The best counter to Mewtwo-EX is itself; this situation sometimes ruins a card, but it helps here.

  • Mr. Mime (BW - Plasma Freeze 47/116): There are competitive decks built around hitting the Bench, and this slows them down, if not wrecking most of their strategy.  Mr. Mime is a loose staple that flirts with being a true one-of in each deck.

  • N: One of the three staple draw Supporters of the Legacy Format, doubling as disruption.  At a glance, N may seem too unreliable to use, seeing as its "disruption" can backfire and provide much needed draw for your opponent, but in practice it is brilliant.

  • Pokémon Catcher/Pokémon Reversal: Post-errata, these cards are the same thing with different names.  Even as "tails fails" Item cards, gusting effects are powerful.  Junk Arm does wonders, making them easier to spam until they work.

  • Pokémon Collector: Any three Basic Pokémon fetched from your deck and added to your hand.  I believe there is still a decent deck or two where Pokémon Collector is vital to its strategy.  If is functional in almost any deck, good in most, and well worth running in several.

  • Pokémon Communication: I don't actually remember this being heavily used in Legacy, given Level Ball and Ultra Ball, but it is plausible that some deck can't handle targeting restrictions or discard costs, but can handle needing a particular Pokémon in hand.  The vast, vast majority of the time, you'll be using Ultra Ball instead.  I'd probably have left it off the list myself.

  • Professor Juniper: Supporters that let you discard your hand and draw seven cards tend to shape their Formats, and this is no different.  Decks that can't afford to discard everything are at a disadvantage for being unable to afford Professor Juniper as readily.  Yeah, as readily: most such decks still run it because of how valuable this draw is, they just only run one or two.  Two or three copies are typical, and four is not uncommon.

  • Professor Oak's New Theory: When you cannot afford to chuck your hand, you shuffle it into your deck and draw six cards.  This is still a great amount of draw power, and almost as good as Professor Juniper.  I might even call it equal to N; reliably shuffle-drawing six offsetting the lack of disrupting your opponent.

  • Prism Energy: Not for every deck, but if your deck runs nothing but Basic Pokémon, it is a better Rainbow Energy/Blend Energy.

  • Random Receiver: Guarantee a Supporter in your hand unless your deck is out of them, or you choose to fail so you can thin your hand.  The less diverse your Supporters, the more reliable Random Receiver proves.  Plus, one in the discard pile means Junk Arm (plus discard fodder) is an out to a Supporter.  There are even some crazy decks that run - at at least ran - on stuff like four Random Receiver and four Professor Juniper.  They either wrecked the opponent in a few turns or self-destructed.

  • Reshiram (Black & White 26/114, 113/114; BW - Black Star Promos BW004, BW23; BW - Next Destinies 21/99; BW - Legendary Treasures 28/113, 114/113; Radiant Collection RC22/RC25): The OG Reshiram was the star attacker of some strong decks back in the day, but was surpassed by several Pokémon-EX after they released.  Still a very good single Prize attacker in Fire decks that can accelerate Energy... or as a splash-in Fire type attacker thanks to Outrage, though that hinges on Reshiram not being OHKO'd.  Not sure I'd include it in a list of general cards, though.

  • Scramble Switch: Not quite as general-use as Life Dew, but not easily countered and still well worth being an Ace Spec.  Sometimes you'll just need it as an emergency Switch or Energy Switch; not good, but better than nothing.  On the other extreme, you get a badly needed Switch while moving a bunch of important Energy from that former Active to your new Active... and if you're not winning after that, then you can use a Max Potion on your former Active.

  • Silver Bangle: Many non-Pokémon-EX attackers are packing this, because it usually makes the difference between a OHKO and 2HKO.  It often is used in conjunction with the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City combo as well, for an effective +60 damage.

  • Silver Mirror: Make any non-EX a wall against Team Plasma Pokémon.  Well, excepting Team Plasma Pokémon that can counter it in some way.  It isn't perfect protection, but Team Plasma decks really don't like dealing with it.

  • Skyarrow Bridge: Another card I may have left of the list, but that is because most places I remember it being great (in past Standard Formats) eventually got better options that are Legacy legal.  I'm thinking certain decks that don't want to run Keldeo-EX/Float Stone and have [C] (maybe [CC]) Retreat Costs might still use it.

  • Skyla: Instant Ace Spec.  Instant Junk Arm.  Instant [insert TecH].  With Ultra Ball, it fakes being Trevor/Poké Kid.  With Energy Search and Ultra Ball, the only think Skyla cannot ultimately fetch are Special Energy cards... though Computer Search can take care of that.

  •  

    Smeargle (HS - Undaunted 8/90; Call of Legends 21/95): The go-to opener for aiding setup, and can even be handy the rest of the game.  Smeargle must be Active to use its "Portrait" Ability, lets you see your opponent's hand and copy any one Supporter you find there, provided you could use it anyway.  With most decks running N, Professor Juniper, and Professor Oak's New Theory, odds are good you'll hit something useful that **** in setting up.  Even many less impressive and underwhelming Supporters are worth copying with Portrait since hey, you're not having to run them or burn your Supporter usage for the turn on them.  Portrait does not end your turn, so if Smeargle can vacate the Active spot, you could use another for more Supporter shenanigans, or to bring up an attacker.  This means it can be quite helpful the rest of the game as well.  Not for every deck, but for many.

  • Team Plasma Ball: Great search for Team Plasma decks, not used elsewhere.  The thing is, there are multiple competitive Team Plasma decks, so it still sneaks onto a list like this.

  • Team Plasma Energy: A Special Energy that only provides [C] seems worthless, but Colress Machine needs it to provide Energy acceleration, and various other Team Plasma Pokémon use it to fuel their effects.

  • Tool Scrapper: This is your answer to some very potent Tools in this format.  As in Standard and even Expanded, you might get by without it, but you're taking a big chance when you do.

  • Twins: A decent card in general, insurance for when you mess up and fall behind, or when luck favors your opponent, or even to cheekily benefit from your opponent legitimately being better than you.  That is not why it made the list.  At least, I am assuming it is because of various decks that have slow setups and/or aren't trying to win on Prizes.  If you're not taking Prizes, each Twins is a no-discard double Computer Search!

  • Ultra Ball: The best Item-based Pokémon search, probably the best Pokémon search in the history of the TCG.  So many combos, most mentioned in other entries.

  • Virbank City Gym: This would be a niche card if Hypnotoxic Laser didn't exist.  Hypnotoxic Laser does exist, so this simple combo fakes being a triple PlusPower, and grants an offense to decks that can't spare their attacks on doing damage.

  • Zekrom (Black & White 47/118, 114/114; BW - Black Star Promos BW005, BW24; BW - Next Destinies 50/99; BW - Legendary Treasures 15/113, 115/113): Another card that seems neither general enough or potent enough to really qualify for this list, its Outrage attack is better at exploiting [L] Weakness but that is fortunately common enough to still be somewhat handy for general use.  It also has started in some decks, and might still be worthwhile as the main single-Prize attacker in a deck backed by Pokémon Collector, Pachirisu (Call of Legends 18/95) and Shaymin (HS - Unleashed 8/95).

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Yeesterbunny

Wow, this thread is a great resource for anyone interested in Legacy deck building. Thanks

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Otakutron

I am counting on actual, Active players like @Felidae_ to fact check me, but I think I got most of that right.  I mean, some of it was so obvious no one was even asking about it. XD

 

I don't have time to post everything I think was left out of the first list, because that means going through a bunch of cards to get just a few that were missed.  So let me start with the Special Energy cards; a much smaller amount, so it is easier to digest.  As usual, I'll only include set/card number information if I believe it necessary to correctly identify the card.  I'm also going to suggest a change to the original nature of the list.  Not staples, but a "To acquire" list.  We're avoiding stuff for specific decks, but if it fits in multiple, probably worth listing.

 

  • Darkness Energy (HS - Undaunted 79/90; Call of Legends 86/95): These are the final two releases of the OG Darkness Energy card.  Remember, Darkness Pokémon first released in Neo Genesis, but we didn't get basic Darkness Energy until Diamond & Pearl (about 6.5 years later).  Besides providing [D] Energy, each copy also added 10 damage to the attacks of your Darkness Pokémon to which it was attached.  Not for most decks, but pretty important to many (most?) Darkness decks.  Oh, and easily missed by folks who don't know such a card ever existed in the first place!
  • Double Colorless Energy: As some of the cards from the original list were still Expanded-legal, I figured I should mention DCE.  It isn't for every deck, but some decks run on it and many run with it.  It isn't overly hard to obtain, but if you're new to Legacy and coming from a Standard-only background... well, you probably have these from a Theme Deck, so this is just a reminder to use 'em. XD
  • Metal Energy (HS - Undaunted 80/90; Call of Legends 87/95): These are the final two releases of the OG Metal Energy card.  Remember, Metal Pokémon first released in Neo Genesis, but we didn't get basic Metal Energy until Diamond & Pearl (about 6.5 years later).  Besides providing [M] Energy, each copy also let the Metal Pokémon to which it was attached soak 10 damage each time it was hit.  Not for most decks, but pretty important to many (most?) Metal decks.  Oh, and easily missed by folks who don't know such a card ever existed in the first place!
  • Rainbow Energy: Another Expanded-legal card folks probably have, but need to remember to use.  Rainbow Energy was the original "One Energy; all types" card, going all the way back to 2000!  It places a damage counter on whatever Pokémon receives it, at least, when initially attached from your hand, but it works as anything and for anything.  Plus, sometimes that damage counter actually feeds combos!
  • Rescue Energy: Even I forget this one exists!  So it doesn't get that much play, but it seems worth including anyway.  Recycling Pokémon isn't difficult in Legacy, but this bounces something to your hand immediately after it was KO'd.  Most of the other options are Trainers of some sort, creating a niche for Rescue Energy.

 

 

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  • Yeesterbunny changed the title to GUIDE for *Legacy Decks* - Staples and Important Cards
Felidae_
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the mention Otaku, although I'm not an active player for quite some time now :D. Luckily Legacy hasn't changed since I left ^^.

 

Based on the lists that you and Soup1900 provided I made this quick list.

 

How to read:

S tier: a league of their own, they make every deck better

A tier: top cards, useful in almost every deck. If you want to start with the format, start with those cards!

B tier: useful in most decks, are sometimes a bit more specific tailored to certain strategies.

C tier: useful in specific decks, be aware of what you want to build before investing into those cards!

 

Pokeballs

 

A tier – Ultra Ball, Level Ball

B tier – Dual Ball, Team Plasma Ball

C tier –

 

Draw Supporter

 

A tier – Prof. Juniper, Prof. Oaks New Theory, N

B tier - Colress

C tier -

 

Utility Supporter

 

A tier – Skyla,

B tier – Twins, Judge, Ghetsis, Pokemon Collector

C tier - Seeker

 

Utility trainer cards

 

A tier Computer Search, Junk Arm, Random Receiver, Switch, Escape Rope, Hypnotoxic Laser

B tier – Tool Scrapper, Lost Remover, Crushing Hammer, Bicycle, Pokemon Catcher, Super Rod, Colress Machine, Max Potion, Dark Patch,

C tier – Devolution Spray, Revive, Legend Box, Scoop Up Cyclone, Dowsing Machine,

 

Tools

 

A tier – Muscle Band, Float Stone, Silver Bangle

B tier – Life Dew, Dark Claw, Silver Mirror,

C tier – Eviolite, G-Booster

 

Stadiums

 

S tier – Tropical Beach

A tier – Virdant Citygym

B tier – Skyarrow Bridge

C tier – Frozen City

 

Energy

 

A tier – Blend Energy, Rainbow Energy

B tier – Prism Energy, Special Darkness Energy

C tier – Special Metal Energy, Plasma Energy

 

Utiltiy Pokemon

 

S tier – Smeargle, Exeggcute

A tier – Jirachi-EX, Keldeo-EX,

B tier – Mr. Mime, Darkrai-EX, Pichu,

C tier – Ho-Oh-EX, Celebi, Virizion-GX

 

 

Edited by Felidae_
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Soup1900
Posted (edited)

@Felidae_ thanks for the tier lest but dowsing machine should be F tier since there's junk arm in legacy which does the EXACT same thing.

Edited by Soup1900
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Otakutron
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Soup1900 said:

@Felidae_ thanks for the tier lest but dowsing machine should be F tier since there's junk arm in legacy which does the EXACT same thing.

 

Junk Arm is not the same as Dowsing Machine!  Dowsing Machine gets any Trainer from the discard pile, but Junk Arm can only reclaim Item cards. 🙃

 

The rules of the TCG evolve over time.

 

  • In the beginning (Base Set), there were three core types of cards: Pokémon, Trainers, and Energy.  All Trainers were simply "Trainers", as they had no sub-types.
  • Gym Heroes (August, 2000) was the sixth set, and introduced Stadium cards.
  • Neo Genesis (December, 2000) was the eighth set, and introduced Tools.
  • Expedition (September, 2002) was the 13th set, and introduced Supporter cards.
  • As of Diamond & Pearl (May 2007), there were five core types of cards: Pokémon, Stadiums, Supporters, Trainers, and Energy.
  • Players were instructed to treat older "Trainer-Supporters" and "Trainer-Stadiums" as if they were the new "Supporter-Suppoters" or "Stadium-Stadiums".  Yes, the new Supporters and Stadiums listed themselves as such twice on the card. XP  Card effects were to function as intended based on when they released!  For example, pre-DP card effects that said "Trainer" still applied to Trainers, Stadium cards, and Supporters.  However, new cards that said "Trainer" only applied to non-Stadium and non-Supporter cards...
  • ...a.k.a. Item cards, a term not introduced until the Black & White (April, 2011).
  • At the same time, Support and Stadium cards were again classified as Trainers.
  • Anything Trainer cards from before Black & White excluding Supporter and Stadium cards were retroactively classified as "Item cards".
  • All Supporter and Stadium cards are again classified as "Trainer cards", even ones that read "Supporter-Supporter" and "Stadium-Stadium".
  • You still are to interpret card effects according to how they were intended to function.  Meaning, the "Hay Fever" Pokémon Power of Dark Vileplume (Team Rocket 13/82, 30/82) stops all Trainer cards from being played.  The "Allergy Flower" Poké-Body of Vileplume (HS - Undaunted 24/90), however, only stops what we now refer to as "Item" cards, because "Trainer" meant "Item" at the time of its release.  The "Irritating Pollen" Ability of Vileplume (XY - Ancient Origins 3/98) stops all Trainer cards from being played as well, though that wasn't really in dispute. XP
  • There are exceptions: errata and reprints!  If a card received an errata, that overrides the official text of all existing versions of the card.
  • Sometimes, we receive errata-via-reprint.  With how the PTCGO works, the most recent version of the card is how all older versions function.  Which is why all versions of Pokémon Catcher require a coin flip to use, even though the first two releases lacked such text.
  • It is also why some Stadium and Supporter cards predate the implementation of those mechanics: the original Computer Search was not an Ace Spec, the original Bill and Erika were not Supporters, and the original Pokémon Center was not a Stadium card.  All were "normal Trainers", functioning like Item cards.  Pokémon Center had an almost totally different effect as well, healing all the damage from all of your injured Pokémon, then discarding all Energy attached to anything it had healed.

 

Edit: Also, Junk Arm is so good that being able to run a "fifth copy" as an Ace Spec wouldn't make it F Tier.  So if everything I just wrote was unneeded, and you thought that Dowsing Machine only worked on Item cards... that'd still be good enough to be at least C Tier. XD  That is just how good Junk Arm is! :D

Edited by Otakutron
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Felidae_
Posted (edited)

Hey Soup, I have to agree with you, placing Dowsing Machine together with Comp. Search can't be right.

To be honest I'll just remove it, as I don't see any deck running it any time soon. Thanks for spotting it :)

 

 

Edit: there is a merit to Otaku's statement as well. The general concession for most decks is to run Comp. Search and we can all agree that they shouldn't be in the same tier and even B tier might be a stretch, but if Dowsing Machine is still a fraction of the cost of Comp. Search we should place it in C tier, as a very specific purchase and maybe as an budget option (again, this is based on the prices from like 2 years ago, no idea how much they changed :D)

Edited by Felidae_
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Yeesterbunny

I didn't have any junk arms in my collection so I spent some coins for 2 Triumphant booster packs. I got a junk arm in each one.

If anyone is after them for Legacy deck building I think your odds of getting them from Triumphant packs is pretty good.

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Otakutron
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Yeesterbunny said:

I didn't have any junk arms in my collection so I spent some coins for 2 Triumphant booster packs. I got a junk arm in each one.

If anyone is after them for Legacy deck building I think your odds of getting them from Triumphant packs is pretty good.

 

No, they aren't.  You just got insanely lucky. XD

 

3 hours ago, Felidae_ said:

The general concession for most decks is to run Comp. Search and we can all agree that they shouldn't be in the same tier and even B tier might be a stretch...

 

Uh... no.

 

9 hours ago, Felidae_ said:

How to read:

S tier: a league of their own, they make every deck better

A tier: top cards, useful in almost every deck. If you want to start with the format, start with those cards!

B tier: useful in most decks, are sometimes a bit more specific tailored to certain strategies.

C tier: useful in specific decks, be aware of what you want to build before investing into those cards!

 

I'm going to question these definitions, especially given the conclusions to which they lead.  I'm not sure if anything qualifies for the S Tier.  I also would not say to "start with A Tier cards", as they're often pretty pricey.  If you can get them for a good price or are lucky enough to pull them, use them!  If you're trying to get playing ASAP, it is okay to work with lesser cards until you can afford A Tier.

 

Here's how I recommend breaking down the Tiers for general usage cards:

 

  • S Tier: The best cards in the Format.  Usually the optimal play in most decks, rarely if ever a bad one.  However, countering the metagame, or deck-specific needs can still force these out of the running.
  • A Tier: Almost the best cards in the Format.  Often the optimal play, but sometimes "not good enough" relative to the actual, optimal play.
  • B Tier: Very good cards, sometimes the optimal play, and often at least functional.
  • C Tier: Decent cards.  Sometimes the best play, and sometimes functional, and sometimes a bad fit.
  • D Tier: Lackluster cards.  As above, but skewed more towards the negative.
  • E Tier: Bad cards.  Rarely good, let alone optimal plays.  Once in a blue moon, the stars may align and they'll enjoy a flicker of competitive success.
  • F Tier: Filler.  The only reason I'm not saying they're never useful to a competitive deck is because I prefer to avoid such absolute statements.

 

What about deck specific, or other "less general" cards?  Look at how the deck influences the metagame.  Really, that is what we're talking about above, anyway.  A card might only be worthwhile in a single deck but, if through that deck, it still shapes much of the metagame, it might be S Tier.  There;s a lot of middle ground as well, like a card that is great in a few decks, but only "decent" in general.

 

So... Ace Specs are a great example of this.  You could intentionally make two completely broken, general use Ace Specs, but unless they're equally broken, the lesser of the two would only see competitive play by people who couldn't obtain the better one.  Sticking to actual Ace Specs, I'd rank them something like

  • S Tier: Computer Search
  • A Tier: Dowsing Machine
  • B Tier: G Booster, Life Dew, Scoop Up Cyclone, Scramble Switch
  • C Tier: Gold Potion, Master Ball, Rock Guard
  • D Tier: Crystal Wall, Victory Piece
  • E Tier: Crystal Edge
  • F Tier: G Scope

 

Within a Tier, cards are alphabetical.  I typed this out very, very quickly, so I'm sure I'll disagree with some of my own picks, but I think it still serves as a decent example.  Yes, I'm telling you Dowsing Machine is, overall, the second best Ace Spec and worthy of A Tier.  It only ranks that low because Junk Arm steals some of its thunder.  Ignoring the Ace Spec aspect, Dowsing Machine > Junk Arm.  Factoring it in, you might have a Scramble Switch/Energy Switch situation; the former is clearly the more powerful card, but you'll see the latter in more decks.

 

G Scope ends up as F Tier because I wanted something in each Tier, and because it competes directly with G Scope.  Hypothetically, if someone came up with a deck that used White Kyurem-EX, Crystal Edge could be good for it.  If you lack any better Ace Spec, a Deluge deck may as well drop Crystal Wall on its Black Kyurem-EX so it has 300 HP.  Victini-EX is actually somewhat impressive with Victory Piece.  It just isn't worth the Ace Spec or 110 HP, 2-Prize attacker the vast, vast majority of the time.

 

Gold Potion, Master Ball, and Rock Guard are the least of the generalists, but that makes them better than all the specialists below them.  Gold Potion and Rock Guard might even have some niche competitive decks that still prioritize them over the more obvious Ace Spec choices.  G Booster is important to VirGen decks.  Life Dew, Scoop Up Cyclone, and Scramble Switch are usually good in most decks, they're just not the best plays outside of a few specific archetypes.

 

Be careful reading prices as potency.  With the physical Ace Specs, it is even more skewed.  All the years of Computer Search being the best means the supply of them keeps shrinking faster than the other Ace Specs.  Because TCG cards do wear out over heavy use for a decade. ;)

 

Again,  it has been years since I really played in the Legacy Format.  If I'm the one who is really off, go ahead and let me know.  Maybe even try to explain why if you can tolerate my stubbornness. ^^'

Edited by Otakutron
Auto Censor, self-reflection
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Radruby317

I got 2 float stones from 2 plasma packs (don't know which) and immediately put them in my deck

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tansleypete

A silly although slightly related question.

I have built a legacy deck in PCTGO but how do I actually play with it?? I can't use it on the versus ladder... Am I missing something obvious?

 

It lists my deck in the last tab of the Deck Manager so it is 'legal' but I can't find a game mode to use it.

Must be getting old 😁

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OelBoy
5 minutes ago, tansleypete said:

A silly although slightly related question.

I have built a legacy deck in PCTGO but how do I actually play with it?? I can't use it on the versus ladder... Am I missing something obvious?

 

It lists my deck in the last tab of the Deck Manager so it is 'legal' but I can't find a game mode to use it.

Must be getting old 😁

 

Try editing it and saving it once again, if that doesn't work, hit the i-icon, maybe then the game gets that your deck is legal. I also had some Legacy decks not show up but I'm not sure what causes this.

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Chasista
1 hour ago, tansleypete said:

A silly although slightly related question.

I have built a legacy deck in PCTGO but how do I actually play with it?? I can't use it on the versus ladder... Am I missing something obvious?

 

It lists my deck in the last tab of the Deck Manager so it is 'legal' but I can't find a game mode to use it.

Must be getting old 😁

 

Last tab is Unlimited and Unlimited is not a legal format, so some card is not allowing the deck to be in any sanctioned format. You need to make changes.

 

Select the deck in the list and in the right part says in which formats is legal. If none, go in deep with the Info button and click every format to an explanation of the cards not allowing to be played.

 

You can also export it here to check. We will say.

 

 

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tansleypete

OK, thanks! I just thought I was missing something. I know which card is the problem, I just thought I could still play with Unlimited decks.

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Otakutron

Okay, Tier stuff aside, where I probably wrote to forcefully given I'm working on such out-of-date info, here's the next wave of useful Legacy Format cards.  Still need to keep it brief, so let's just do Item cards for now... though I might edit in the other Trainers later.  Card that don't make this list are not automatically bad, they just aren't good enough in either general use or deck specific roles for me to cover them.

  • Cover Fossil, Old Amber Aerodactyl, Plume Fossil, Root Fossil Lileep: Only for Fossil decks.  Even in Fossil decks, odds are you'll use an alternative method to field them most of the time.  I'm not sure there are any competitive Fossil builds worth running in Legacy, but just in case... here ya go.
  • Crushing Hammer: This is a good card in general, even now.  The same is true in Legacy, and there at least used to be decks like Hammer Time where it was essential.
  • Dark Claw, Dark Patch: Most competitive Darkness decks will include these.
  • Devolution Spray: I don't know if any top tier decks use it, but a few functional and (I believe) mildly competitive decks either run it, or could run it.
  • Energy Retrieval:  A solid card in Standard, and the same is true in Legacy.  The catch is that it gets outclassed by Superior Energy Retrieval in the decks where you'd expect it to matter most.
  • Energy Switch: Not for every deck, but functional in many.
  • Escape Rope: Another card that is good in modern Standard Format play; it still serves that purpose in Legacy.
  • Ether: I don't remember it being great but I think a few decks do use it.
  • Eviolite: How was this left off the old list?  This is one of the best Tools available.  Yes, I know @Felidae_ said it was C-Tier, but that's because he had Muscle Band in the A-Tier.  Muscle Band is not legal in the Legacy Format.  It was a simple mistake, hence me not catching it until now. ;)
  • Exp. Share: An easy card to underestimate, because it isn't as good as it looks at first glance.  It does have its uses, such as in Tool Drop decks.
  • G Booster: Vital to VirGen decks, and probably any other Genesect-EX (PLB) decks you'd want to run.  Yes, you even run this instead of Computer Search; that big, unblockable blow is game winning.
  • Gold Potion: I'm not sure if it is ever the best Ace Spec, but there's a decent chance it will be the best Ace Spec a budget player owns.
  • Master Ball: This is never the best Ace Spec, but it is one a person is likely to get early.  When you have nothing better, might as well have a "Superior Ultra Ball".
  • Max Potion: Not for every deck, but amazing in the right ones.
  • PlusPower: Just barely avoids being skipped, because it really does come in handy.  Perhaps less in proper decks, and more in budget builds.
  • Rare Candy: For the few Stage 2 Pokémon worth running.
  • Rock Guard: Another one of the "If you don't have anything better..." Ace Specs, but there might be certain control/disruption decks where it is actually the go-to pick.
  • Rocky Helmet: Borderline, as I vaguely recall certain control/disruption decks utilizing it.  Or some other kind of finicky combo deck.
  • Super Rod: A loose staple.  Most decks want a way to recycle some Pokémon and/or Basic Energy cards.
  • Super Scoop Up: A good example of a "Tails/fails but heads = broken" card.
  • Superior Energy Retrieval: Only for decks that need to recycle a lot of basic Energy and that can afford the discard cost.  However, in something like Deluge, its great!
  • Switch: ...I know it should go without saying, but its a really handy, easy to forget about card that I think everyone already has four of from the freebie Theme Decks.
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Otakutron
Posted (edited)

Okay, just enough time for Stadium cards!  As a reminder, this thread's focus has changed, so this list will include

 

  1. Staples for use in most (if not all decks).
  2. Useful budget cards for getting started.
  3. Key cards for popular or effective competitive decks.

 

Because of these Standards, almost all Stadiums legal for the Legacy Format at least a tiny bit of competitive value.  I'll just list them all, and give an idea of how likely they are to help you out.  For almost all of these, I could add "...but you're probably better off with Hyponotixic Laser and Virbank City Gym, space permitting."

  • Aspertia City Gym: Budget deck option, because running a mess of Colorless attacks it itself a budget option.
  • Battle City: The "sort of" budget Tropical Beach.  Not as demanding (in game or in terms of buying), but not as rewarding.  Not as specialized, either.
  • Burned Tower: Unreliable but reusable basic Energy recycling, with no additional costs or drawbacks.
  • Champion's Festival: A little too picky for how weak the healing is.  If you're deck is all about as much healing as possible and fills up your own Bench, or you hit your own Bench for damage, maybe then?
  • Frozen City: See above.
  • Indigo Plateau: If you insist on a Pokémon LEGEND deck, you'll probably want this.
  • Lost World: A literal win condition, but only for
    • Decks built around it.
    • Tech to counter decks that remove their own Pokémon.
      don't forget your opponent can use it as well!
  • Plasma Frigate: TecH for decks already running Plasma Energy and somewhat concerned about Weakness.  No concern means you can use the slot on something else, more concern means you should find a better way to deal with Weakness.
  • Pokémon Center: Very Weak healing, but if you don't have a better Stadium or managing a tiny bit of self-damage is important, there you go.
  • Ruins of Alph: I really doubt removing Resistance is ever going to be worth your Stadium.  If you absolutely need a filler Stadium, odds are it won't hurt you, unless your own Resistance is relevant.
  • Skyarrow Bridge: See above.
  • Tropical Beach: Not worth it in most decks, but some excellent control decks need it, and in the unlikely event you have a slot to spare, then yeah, it is worth it.  Player psychology is also a factor.
  • Twist Mountain: Unless another Stadium is vital, this is a must for Restored Pokémon decks.  As a reminder, I don't recall there being any competitive decks focused on Restored Pokémon.
  • Virbank City Gym: See above.
Edited by Otakutron
Forgot Ruins of Alph really does have next to no competitive value.
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